Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rice's Market, Solebury Twp, PA

One of my favorite things to do before we moved to Florida was head out early on a Tuesday (or more often Saturday, because I was working then) morning to Rice's Market. Rice's Market is 30 acres of outdoor, retail therapy. There has been some type of "farm market" on this site for over 100 years, when Mr. Rice first started selling products from his and neighboring farms.

Rice's is located north east of Doylestown, PA. It's an easy and very beautiful drive back Mechanisville Rd (the way I go) as your drive by farms, and homes from past centuries.

Today as we were driving, even with the windows up, we were able to smell lavender that was growing at Carousel Farm which I knew nothing about until I just Googled it! Tara and I will be headed back there on a Saturday sometime soon when the farm is open to the public. I was not able to get a picture, due to the traffic on the road (the nerve of the driving public to impede my photography!).

We also passed many great houses "dressed" for the 4th of July, I was only able to snap a couple! I LOVE older homes like this, but as I am inept at home repairs, and don't like yard work, they would not be the place for me!

Soon we arrived at Rice's, paid the $1.00 parking fee, and started the hunt for a spot. Normally, I would have been out the door by 6:30am or so, as it opens at 7am. This was a spur of the moment trip since Tara was up much earlier than has become the norm! We did not leave until close to 8am, arriving around 9am. I found a great spot pretty quickly (by following folks that were leaving). It was VERY crowded.

From New Adventures in Lansdale and beyond!

You can find just about anything at Rice's, fresh produce, plants, clothing, jewelery, PURSES (everywhere there are purses), food, collectibles, cosmetics, pet supplies, and so on and so on!
We first stopped at Marie's Soap Co.. I was drawn to all of the fresh scents of the all natural soaps. Tara and I each got a bar of soap, and I got some all natural insect repellant (essential oils - Basil, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Lavendar, Litsea, Peppermint & Pine!).

We also picked up some jewelry for Tara (peace signs of course) and a birthday gift for my mom (85th on 7/4!). I was drawn to the colorful displays of purses, but I RESISTED the urge. I even got yelled at by a little man for taking pics of his purses, but I DID NOT delete the picture!

We then came upon THESE:

FRESH BAKED early this morning, PHILADELPHIA PRETZEL BRAIDS. YUMMO! This one actually made it all the way home because I wanted to make sure I took a picture! There is NOTHING like a fresh Philly pretzel... Super Pretzels are NOT the real thing!

We wandered a bit more, and suddenly, I heard a familiar voice... Paulie of Philadelphia Candles. I did not get a picture of Paulie, but Tara did get a lovely Vanilla/Spice Candle (it's still in the car and it is raining, so sorry, no picture), so I'm borrowing one off his website, I hope he won't mind since I'm advertising his wares!!! These are awesome candles, and the scents when burning rival Yankee Candles (which I LOVE as well).

By then it was getting warmer, and MUCH more crowded, so we decided to head home. We did not cover the entire 30 acres, and we did not go into the bakery, indoor food area (which is AMAZING) due to the crowd. There is always the next time.

If you are in the area on a Tuesday or Saturday, Rice's is worth your time. My favorite time of the year is a nice crisp cool fall morning!!!

Oh, and remember this post - Miles of Mules? Well, I got a picture of the SIXTH mule today!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

House of Vines

I do not know anything about this little house, but that it has been vine covered for as long as I can remember. It sits on the corner of Lincoln and Poplar Streets in Hatfield Pa, and it intrigues me! Had it not been for the trash can out front, I would not even have known if it was still occupied. I have never seen anyone out and about the house! (I took this through the windshield, I had to be quick.. there was a car coming!)

See the ONE little flower blooming almost in the center of the photo! I did not notice that until just now! (As always you can click for a larger view!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gwynedd Square Presbyterian Church

On Tuesday, I went to church with my mother to help put the church newsletter together for mailing. This is something that she helps with each month. I think it is awesome that at almost 85 (on July 4th), she still stays active with things like this. I enjoyed the time, knowing that I was helping out, and filling the spot of one of the ladies who was not able to come.

I spent some time "reconnecting" with the church using my camera!

I grew up in this church, and attended very regularly for many years. I even sang in the choir. When I married, became a mom, and then divorced, I didn't feel like I "fit" with the membership of this particular church, so I attended another church, and slowly drifted away from attending all together. My mother has remained active, and kept me up to date on church news. I even "bonded" a bit through email with Pastor Dave during my mother's hospitalizations a couple years ago. Once again, I feel "at home" in this church. We will see if it is a good fit for both Tara and I. I hope it is. She will be attending VBS next week.

The following photos are some of the photos I took. You can see the others HERE.

This photo shows the original section of the church, there have been two additions over the years.

This cross hung over the pulpit in the original sanctuary.

This is the stained glass in the original part of the church.

This is a view of a wall of crosses that were lent to the church by members in celebration of the 50th anniversary that was just celebrated.

Stained glass window and organ pipes in the new sanctuary.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Peddler's Village, Lahasaka, PA

Peddler's Village has been a long time favorite spot of mine, even as a teen I remember going there with my parents. There used to be a Swedish store there where you could get amazing, hand painted clogs, I can still envision a pair of black clogs with beautifully hand painted red and yellow flowers! I still have a orange Swedish Dala horse I got there as well. It is on my "My favorite thing shelf". I digress.

Lahasaka has changed over the years to also include outlet shopping on the "other" side of the road!

Our trip to PV yesterday was mainly for the drive, and to visit "Giggleberry Farms" and the carousel. I knew that with Tara, my window shopping in all of the little stores would be limited, so I went with no expectations of that!

I did however make a coupe FABULOUS PHOTO FINDS, but I will get to that in a separate post!

First, we made a little "side" trip through the toll and across the Delaware River, just because, we could! Tara loves that we can so quickly be in a different state. When you live in FL, unless you live in the northern part, it takes forever to get out of the state. We can be in NJ in several different directions in about 30 miles! I used to make this drive every day for three years when I commuted to Bridgewater every day!
Then it was back to PV and Giggleberry Farms!

The first thing you see when you walk in the door is the grand Carousel. The carousel was originally built by the Philadelphia Tobaggon Comany in 1922, and has been fully restored. The space that it is housed is not large, and is glass all around so not the easiest to photograph. I tried to get some "blur" photos as well. I rode with Tara one time, it goes pretty fast, and I don't do well on rides. Needless to say, it was a good thing she went off to play in Giggleberry Mountain, so I could sit and regain my equilibrium! I am a wimp!

Click on the collage to see larger images.
They have created an area similar to "Chuck E Cheese" here in PV. Giggleberry Mountain is a huge indoor obstacle course for climbing and sliding and much more. I did not see it first hand, as I did not want to pay the admission. Tara had a great time, and burned off some energy! She said it was fun, and would like to go back with a friend or her cousins. They have 50% off on Friday evenings (I'm guessing PV is more of an adult place on a Friday night, dinner, shopping), so we might just do that!

They also have a game room, and Tara and I had fun with $10 worth of tokens. You can get pizza, hot dogs, etc as well. There is also another section, Discovery Land, which is a hands on interactive area. Although it was inlcuded in Tara's activity pass, we FORGOT to go in!

We then headed out to go home, but made a quick stop in the toy store, pottery shop and I took a quick peek, and a deep breath in the coffee shop.

Posted by Picasa

You can visit the photos from the day here as well since I choose to include collages today!

I hope to get back to PV some time soon with a friend, who likes to window shop. Many of my favorite stores are still there and I would like to revisit them, and have a nice lunch at one of the great restaurants!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Trip to the Movies, and tidbits from around home

This past week we did not get out for much exploring, instead we took care of "business" at home! I am hoping this week will be different, I have a couple things in mind!

Saturday we did make an appearance at my cousin Dean's oldest daughter's graduation party. It was a very big party, which was quite overwhelming to Tara who knew no one (even people that remember her, she does not remember since she has not seen most of them in 5 or more years!). Also, I found myself overwhelmed having to re-explain my raspy voice to each person I spoke too (I have a paralyzed vocal cord, which happened since I was last home!). I did see several of my cousins, some of their children (and even grand children!), and two of my aunts. I got to have a piece of tomato pie which I have been wanting since we returned to PA. I did not however get any photos, there were just too many people. Hopefully we will have a more intimate family gathering in the near future!

Sunday, Tara and I ventured out to the movies. Originally she wanted to see Star Trek for the 5th time, but instead we went to see Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell. This movie was pointlessly funny in true Will Ferrell style. You know going in it is going to be bad, but it still makes you laugh! I could have done without it, and in retrospect probably should have spent the money on Star Trek for the 5th time, but Tara was entertained. Some of the humor and language was a bit PG-13, but I know my child can handle it! ("Oh that is just so WRONG", "Tell me when I can look", etc).

I did however enjoy our drive to the theater. We like Regal theaters, and were very SPOILED by a 22 theater complex just a quick 5 minute drive from home in FL. Here, the closest theaters are older theaters with less comfy seats, etc. With that in mind we headed out to the Barn 14 in Doylestown. Part of the route to Doylestown were roads I had driven each and every day for 3 years when I commuted to Bedminster, NJ every day, so it was nice to "revisit" and see what had changed.
On the way home I ventured an even different route, and along the way I saw three what I believe were donkey/mule statues. Each painted differently. When I saw the first one, I didn't think anything of it, and then I saw another (pictured here) and then another (couldn't get it's picture). These were all in the Rt 611/313 vicinity in Doylestown. I have come to find out these are from a project in 2003, called Miles of Mules exhibit from 2003, associated with the James A. Michener Art Museum. There were 170 mules throughout several PA counties. I am going to have to do more research to see where any of these might still be found! If nothing else, I will have to get pictures of the other two, and a better one of the one below. I was stopped at a traffic light!

After dinner, we brought Oliver the guinea pig out on the patio so we could clean his cage. He had fun exploring, and Princess had fun watching him! At one point she had him trapped in his house, and he was not too happy with her. He kept trying to nip her nose! I think Princess thought she was keeping him safe since we had him out of his cage. She would "baby sit" the piggies for hours when we had all six of them and the babies were little!

Speaking of babies, I have been watching the Robin's nest above our front door since we moved in, and finally we have babies!

Finally as the sun was starting to set, we decided to head back inside. It was a beautiful evening to be on the patio. I have to get a small table for out there, so I can do my blogging from there! It is always shaded, so no sun glare on the screen!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dinner with Friends

I haven't been out and about much this week, getting things done at home!

I had dinner with my friends, and new employer's Steve and Leslie at Olive Garden. It was nice to get out with other "grown ups"! I should have taken a picture of them, but they are not yet accustomed to my crazy photo habits. The restaurant was really full for a drizzly, icky, Wednesday!

I am going to be working par time for them helping them with marketing for their salon "Tranquility Life Spa and Hair Design" in Hatfield. I will also be their Friday receptionist. As much as I love being off this summer, I am looking forward to working those few hours!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Around Town

After our day in Philly on Friday, the rest of our weekend was pretty quiet. We spent some time at church, which was celebrating it's 50th anniversary. There was a carnival on Saturday (I forgot my memory card) and on Sunday they had a beautiful service and a catered "picnic" type lunch in the fellowship hall. I enjoyed reconnecting with church "folk" many I have known since I was a child!

Monday, Tara and I spent the afternoon with my friend Leslie. Leslie owns Tranquility Life Spa and Hair Design, in Hatfield, PA. I had gotten a hair cut on Saturday, but went on Monday for some skin care and a make over with the awesome makeup line that Leslie sells. I felt so pampered when we left, and with a bag full of new make up goodies, I am no longer going to dread the morning make up application! Tara got pampered as well with a hair wash, dry and trim! The salon is quaint and small which I have always loved. Leslie not only wants to care for your outward self, but she wants to make sure you feel good on the inside too! If all works out I will be doing some work for Leslie and Steve in the way of helping them to market the salon.

We also stopped by Freddy Hill Farms. I grew up right next to the farm, and spent a great deal of time playing there with the Seipt family children. Like me they are all grown with families of their own, many of whom work on the farm. In the 1970s they added a dairy store where they sold the milk from their cows that was processed and packaged(in plastic bags at the time)on site. They also sold ice cream. It was a frequent stop for a summer (and winter - egg nog and peppermint stick ice creams) treat. Through the years, both my brothers worked on the farm, my sister Linda was active in 4-H with a prize winning cow, Helena, that was owned by the Seipt's, and at one point in time, my mother even worked in the ice cream parlor! The farm holds an awesome Fall Festival each weekend in October, with hayrides, corn stalk mazes, and so much more. During the 90s, they added two miniature golf courses, batting cages, and driving ranges, as part of their entertainment center. I think it is awesome that they were able to make this step which I would guess has enabled then to keep Freddy Hill Farms as a working farm, and quite a bit of local property undeveloped!
The plaque at the bottom is in memory of my brother Robin.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Day in Philly

Today, Tara and I boarded the R5 and headed to Center City, Philadelphia. It had been quite some time since I was last in the City of Brotherly Love. I believe Tara was five when we last took this adventure, and we didn't much make it out of the Gallery (shopping mall that connects to the train station) when she was ready to go home!

We rushed to catch the 10:02 train, and I had to scrape together the $12 fare (I read the rate schedule wrong) because I didn't have time to stop at the ATM! With .22 cents to spare, we settled into our ride to the city. I have always loved watching the world go by from the train. I made the commute to the city for a short while during my Bell of PA career, and later would go about once a month!

Within an hour we had arrived at our destination - Market St East. I had forgotten how overwhelming the city can be. It took me a couple minutes to get my bearings and find an ATM. With that out of the way, and cash in my pocket, we headed out to the street. First we saw this awesome mural.

Once on the street, I immediately saw the "purple wings" I was looking for that designated the stop for the "PLASH" bus. This bus makes a loop around the city to the most visited tourist stops; the Liberty Bell area, the zoo, art museum, train station/shopping area, etc. You can pay $2/adult for each destination, or $5/day. I chose the $5/day per person since I didn't know how much we would be up for. My one "mistake" was not crossing the street to get the bus that was headed for the Liberty Bell, instead we got on the one just coming from there. It was a nice ride, and in my mind not really a mistake. I got to see where the bus stops for the next time, and I also got to see many things I have not seen in a very long time. I always seemed to be the one driving, so it was nice to sit back and enjoy the scenic tour. We never stopped long enough for photos, and I did not have a good seat for snapping out the window, so I have nothing to share from that journey!

We got off the bus less than a block for the Liberty Bell building, quickly moved through the line and bag check. We scanned the displays and then went to see the bell. There was a rather annoying school group there...they were "hogging" the bell, laying on the floor trying to take pics under the bell, and just plain annoying me. I just wanted 30 seconds of and unobstructed view of the bell for a photo! This was NOT the place to try and take a group picture of all the kids!

We then headed back outside and decided to take a carriage ride. This is something I have always wanted to do and Tara like the idea. Our horses name was DaVinci, and I think our tour guide/drivers name might have been Kim. We went through the historic area, Society Hill & Old City. It was an hour tour, and we learned some interesting facts. I thought it would be a great way to take pictures, and in some cases it was, but because it was "spitting" rain, she had put the top up which sometimes impeded my shot!
I personally could spend hours walking around ALONE with my camera, so many windows, doors, statues, sculptures, textures, etc to photograph. Here is just a couple!

Philadelphia has hundreds of murals on buildings, through the Phila Mural Arts Program
The ones I saw from a distance were pretty amazing. I think they need a mural tour!

Once our tour was over, we hopped on the "Phlash" bus and headed back toward 12th & Market. I was wanting some lunch, and wanted to take a swing through the Reading Terminal Market.... WRONG thing to to on a Friday afternoon! It was packed, and something made Tara sneeze. She sneezed from the time we walked in until a couple minutes after we left! I'm hopping the train early some Sunday morning and hitting it when it opens!

We both had decided we had enough of the big city for the day, it takes some adjusting to the ENERGY.
Before we left, I did catch a glimpse of Billy Penn a top of City Hall.

So that's it for our day, we caught the train and headed back home! Have to run to a much needed hair appointment!